Four Through SixBy Ericka Chickowski | Posted 2008-03-03 Email Print
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Gartner gives some well-thought out advice on how to plan for demands on cost-cutting that will more than likely be coming from the top of your organization this year.
4. Enlist an Internal Auditor as Scorekeeper
Bringing a senior accountant or an auditor to oversee the cost-cutting planning and implementation will ensure that savings actually make it to the ledger.
“You don't want to do financial three-card monte. Because the exercise is to get expenses out of the corporation out of the organization so that the most favorable financial results can be reflected to investors, you want to make sure that which you identify for being cut actually gets pulled out and actually is cut from the operating expenses of the firm,” McGee said. “All too often people may claim, yeah we found this, we found that, but when you do the investigation the actual expense has not been removed
5. Report Results on a Weekly Basis
Once the cost-cutting activities are in full swing, keep senior management apprised of the work by updating them weekly.
“Create a report that takes 60 seconds or less to state what has been done so far this week, what the total is so far this week and what the aggregate total is so far in the exercise,” McGee advised.
6. Identify a Liaison from the Legal Department
Finally, the cost-cutting team should establish a liason into the legal department so that questions about contracts and penalty clauses can be quickly answered.
“You want to avoid the situation when you sin in haste you repent in leisure, that is when you pull something out without legal advise and lo and behold your exposure is prolonged,” McGee said. “But you don't have time to get in queue and wait for the attorneys to say whether or not something is legally doable or not. You want ot have a hotline to the legal department, use it only when its needed but expect an answer when you need it.”
By preparing in advance and acting on these six steps, McGee believes that IT management can ultimately help their organizations and prove their mettle to stressed senior managers harried by diminished earnings in recession time.
“Exhibit to management that you've anticipated this need and off you’ll go (if cuts do come to pass),” he said. “If it is not an initiative in 2008 then what you've done is you've needlessly worked on a project for a day or three and you can put it in the trashcan and no one will care.”